Blog Archives

One email that ALWAYS gets opened

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You know how we at Hootville feel about eNewsletters and eMarketing in general. We are eNewsletter fetishists and proud of it. Squiggle wags his tail involuntarily every time he  sends out another edition of the Lowdown and we hope they make your tails wag likewise.

Here’s a question for anyone (canine or human)  who edits an eNewsletter: of all the emails a subscriber will ever receive which is the most likely to be opened? Take 10 seconds to think.


Your subscription confirmation email. Yep – it’s statistically proven. So this raises the question – are you making the most of this opportunity? Likely answer is: no.

What could you do? Beyond a genuine, non-robotic welcome you could link to the five best articles on your website for some instant gratification, spruik an upcoming event or (this is good) have them take a 2m survey.

We dare you. You will instantly segment your keenest new subscribers.

People who have just subscribed themselves are hot-to-trot so they may undertake a quick online survey. More importantly, the survey may reveal something you could use. You may ask them if they have volunteered before, whether they could provide a suitable opportunity for your public speakers, if they would like a tour of your kennels or if they have a lead for your social enterprise team of office cleaners.

Any response shows them to be interested. The right responses may warrant a phone call. (Ask for permission first.) Let’s say a subscriber receives a polite, quick call from you about any of the above issues. The relationship is already well under way and you’ve certainly given them a connection to keep pening and responding to your future communications.

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Interesting fact: comedy and eMarketing share a key element

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What’s the most important element of comedy? Timing. Likewise in eMarketing. That’s why we at Hootville drop our shoulders when we see eNewsletters arrive late in the traditional working day. See below.

free emarketing advice

Too late she cried. Cry earlier in the day and in the week.

The Lowdown is overwhelmingly read at work during worktime so we aim for the Lowdown to be part of people’s first download of email.

The goal is to be a part of people’s pre-work procrastination and to allow them more worktime to read our content during the day. It works. How do we know? We A/B test varying send times and check the results. Try that with mail.


Virgin clearly gets the worms with these early words.

We’ve had clients with audiences which are less clear cut. Eg: older audiences, parents or carers all of which are likely to have more varied reading times. For some of you, it would be worth asking new subscribers when they are most likely to receive (not read) your material and send accordingly. The fresher your email is in the inbox, the more enticing it is.

That’s why, 24 hours after the first distribution we resend the Lowdown to Citizens who failed to read it the first time. Same email, same recipient, different result about 20% of the time. Not bad huh? Do you resend automatically? Why not?  

Also – we don’t send Monday or Friday. Monday mornings are too caught up with the return to work and Friday doesn’t allow us to resend 24 hours later. Interesting fact #2.

BTW – at least 5% of you are away at any given time rising to 15% during school holidays.

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eMarketing mistakes from two big companies

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This week two major corporations: and (Fairfax’s real estate brand) both sent Hootville an email communication. Both were immediately deleted. Both companies are big enough to know better but failed to grasp some basic principals of eMarketing. What did they do wrong?

1. Relevance: We never signed up for this. We used these two sites as a place to advertise. We never wanted to receive weird employment and property-related emails from them. 

2. Value: We may have overlooked the pushiness if the emails had included a special offer, valuable advice or a welcome diversion – they didn’t.

3. Timelapse: Both companies have left things waaaay too long. We last did business with these companies years ago. Now they want to build a relationship with us? Uh-uh. Even if we’d loved their service back in 2009 we have moved on since and are seeing other sites.

4. Credibility: Despite the immense resources available to both Seek and Domain both emails were text-heavy and unenticing. In fact they were so poorly designed they looked fake.

Bosses sometimes think that an email database can be held up one’s sleeve for a rainy day. It can’t. Your subscribers must be nurtured with regular quality contact.  


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